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>> we recently traveled to the mediterranean island country of cyprus. it is in the neighborhood of greece, turkey, syria, lebanon, israel, and egypt. in its 12,000 year history and a rich culture, it is a fabulous and fascinating place to visit. we will travel from nicosia to the pine forest of the troodos mountains. will visit some of the historic monasteries and churches -- we will visit some of the historic monasteries and churches that have been designated as world historical sites by unesco. we will talk with some of the senior leadership of the republic of cyprus. >> "this is america" is
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made possible by the national education association, the nation's largest advocate for children and public education. the american federation of teachers, a union of professionals. the singapore tourism board -- there is something for everyone. singapore airlines -- a great way to fly. poongsan corporation, forging a higher global standard. the rotondaro family trust. the ctc foundation. afo communications. and the american life tv network.
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>> tourism in cyprus -- is it very important? but it is one of the important sectors of the economy -- >> it is one of the important sectors of the economy. we have a contribution of around 11% gdp. we also believe we have -- there are measures that our government is taking so that tourism will develop further. cyprus was known for its beautiful sea, the beaches, the son, but cyprus has much more -- sun, but cyprus has much more to offer. we have culture. we have religious tourism. we encouraged sports tourism, corporate tourism, medical tourism, alternative types of tourism. we believe these will develop much more in the years to come. >> you mentioned 11% for the
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tourism. what are the other sectors that contribute to the gdp? >> ok. services. services contributes to 80%. and tourism is 11% out of this 80%. then it is banking services, medical, shipping, all the related. services are very important for the economy of cyprus. this is the success of cyprus. we moved very quickly to services. >> how about some stories that i have been reading about the possibility of a booming economy based on oil and natural gas right here in the cyprus area?
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what do we know? >> what do we know? first round of licensing started in 2007. during this round of licensing, we have granted licenses to an american company. all of the proprietary work has been completed. the surveys have been completed. we are very satisfied with the work they are doing, these partners. signed an agreement -- disagreement myself in october -- i signed this agreement myself in october, 2009. >> if someone were coming to cyprus for the first time, what would you, as the minister, have them see? >> it depends on what the
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purpose of their visit is. if they want to come to relax or see things. there are lots of beautiful beaches all over cyprus. there are monasteries, museums, archeological places. cyprus has a long history. it has a very rich culture. there are things to see and things to do for all tastes. >> as we headed to the trudeaus mountains -- troodos mountains, we stopped in a small village to look at this historic greek orthodox church dedicated to st. barnabas. the church, which has five domes, is more than 1000 years old and still functions as the central church of the village today. we left the village to continue into the magnificent and famous troodos mountains. and, after a separate mail -- cypriot meal at a small tavern,
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we stopped at a monastery dedicated as a unesco world historical site. our guide explains as the significance -- explains the significant of the location. >> this is a unique place. that building which you see behind us is one roof covering three different churches of three different periods. they wanted to protect all of these churches from the weather conditions in the mountains. there are huge, pitched, flat- tile -- is a huge, pitched, flat-tile roof which protect all three churches. >> what is this monastery? >> it is the monastery of ayios ioannis lampadistis.
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>> would this be used by villagers? >> it would be used by those at the monastery in the orthodox religion, the biggest service being sunday, and, of course, many others. while the service goes on on sunday, many villagers joined them -- join them. they will come here. it is not an active monastery, but it is active as a church pew >> once inside, we were able to view different -- as a church. >> once inside, we were able to view different examples of byzantine art from the 13th century thorugh the -- through the 15th century. >> you see the ceiling dome. hire a on the walls, you see the life of jesus -- higher up on the walls, you see the life of
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jesus. you are coming from heaven to earth or earth to heaven. that was a busy time -- that was what the byzantine artists or trying to show you. >> perhaps the most famous monastery is the kykkos monastery, high in theroosod mountains. it draws many pilgrims and tourists. it is notable for its wide open spaces, palavric exterior art, and the many monks -- elaborate exterior are, and the many months in residence. -- exterior art, and the many monks in residence. our guide told me more about kykkos monastery. ♪ in then hear qa chant
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background. tell me about this wonderful monastery. >> this is chanted every morning and evening. they have different duties. the monks have a specific routine. they start very early in the morning and and very late in the evening. they have specific times -- and end very late in the evening. they have specific times for everything. >> how many monks are here? >> there are 22. there have been more in the past year the monastery has been here for more than 1000 years -- int he past. -- in the past. the monastery has been here for more than 1000 years.
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they sent a special icon, which was believed to be painted by the apostle luke. they did not want to send this icon to a cave in the mountains. been destroyed. he sent the money to build the church and monastery here. the monks came first, sent by ship. they took the icon and walked through the mountains to reach this isolated spot. >> we have driven a long time, up many a hill, and we are high in the mountains here. old days, n the
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there were no cars or roads. >> they were using parts, mules, donkeys -- carts, ules, donkeys -- mules, donkeys. >> what a commitment to come here. >> the people had faith. to keep the monastery going like this for 1000 years -- even now, you can see everybody in the monastery. people come from all parts of the world and not only orthodox. catholics, protestants -- they come here to see a monastery that has managed to survive so many difficulties up to this day. >> how does the monastery support -- is the monastery supported today? >> by donations.
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over the years, the monastery, because they believed this icon, the portrait of virgin mary, the only one in the world, has attracted so many people. they believed it performs miracles. this icon supposedly healed people. that is why it was sent to the island. they wanted it to be a vision of virgin mary. >> inside the church is the icon. >> yes. >> and we have seen people come to kiss the icon, to pray before the icon. this is a very special occasion for anybody who comes here.
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>> exactly. you do not come every day. you may come once in your life. naturally, if you have some faith and you believe in all of this, you want to make sure you take something back with you, like blessed oil, that such thing. >> in addition to the history, culture, and heritage of cyprus, there is the present as a political aspects of a successful, yet divided, -- country.he present >> there is a separate community in america, which is a live link between the two countries. they a community does not speak -- is not -- the community is
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not as big as other ethnic communities, but it is very lively. there are many distinguished members in the academic, economic, and social life of the places that they lived in the united states -- live in the united states. we have close cooperation on issues of security, the fight against terrorism, and, of course, also, we enjoy very, very good trade and economic links. relationshipyprus' with turkey? >> turkey does not recognize the republic of cyprus as the state since 1974. so, since -- summer of 1974, there are no diplomatic or political relations between the
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republic of cyprus and turkey. -- turkey as a result of this policy of turkey of nonrecognition of the republic of cyprus. turkey has imposed an embargo on ships and aircrafts which are related or even stop in the republic of cyprus, from exports and airports, which makes contact and commercial links more difficult. beyond the relation -- the only relation, if one may call it a religion, is the fact that turkey illegally occupies the northern area of the republic of cyprus. and how did that happen? why did that happen? >> it happened in july, 1974.
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there was a coup d'etat that seems to have been organized by their military regime. again, it is a legitimate presence in the republic of cyprus. turkey, using a sub pretext of the rise it -- restoration of the constitutional order of the republic of cyprus, invited -- they have occupied the area ever since. the area has expanded. the population remains refugees in their own country. >> my understanding is that, in the occupied territory, there are turkish troops, turkish
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cypriots, and then the settlers. -- were they forced to come here? were they given incentive to come here? did they come to work? how did they arrive? it is a huge number of people we are talking about, right? >> yes. this is one of the most serious aspects of cyprus' problems. even the turkish cypriots themselves, even the so-called authorities are not sure of the exact number of settlers. i would not say that these people were transported here by force. on the contrary, they were given incentives to come, such as the
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promise of free property, the promise of a better future. even in the occupied part of cyprus, the standard of living is much higher than the average standard of living in turkey. turkey is a vast country with a lot of underdeveloped areas. there are the high classes in istanbul, but there are many villages which are very poor. the promise of property and a better life is a strong incentive for their arrival here. >> as you survey the situation right now, do you see any hope? are there any positive signals? >> of course.
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if i were not hopeful, i would not have been in this line of business. we have been talking to each other for the last 2 1/2 years almost. there have been some convergences on some aspects of the problem. but there are formidable obstacles that still remain. >> what is cyprus' vision? >> our vision is what has been decided as the basis for the talks since the 1970's, up through the united nations security council, that is the establishment or the transformation of the current republic of cyprus in to a federal state composing of two federal units, each run by each
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community, where, of course ,human rights -- of course, human rights will be fully respected, and greek and turkish cypriots will have the right to acquire property and live freely and settle freely throughout the islands, like it can do in the rest of the members of the european union. it is a big paradoxical -- that they could exercise such rights in other countries in europe, but not in their own country. and, of course, the right of legitimate owners to decide whether they want restitution for their property rights or want to be compensated for
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property or exchange their property. and, of course, corporations with turkish cypriots. -- incorporation of the turkish cypriots. we decided to join the european union because we strongly believe and still have this strong belief that membership in the european union will be the ultimate guarantee for a prosperous and peaceful future for all of us cypriots. >> it is very centrally located. every conqueror or every power in the past -- or probably now -- aspires to have control of it. >> who were some of the groups that came, occupied, colonized,
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and had a tremendous impact on cyprus? >> well, you know, definitely the greeks. the island was actually inhabited by greeks since about 3,000 years ago. so, most of this time, the large majority of the population were greeks. of course, the veneitians -- venetians came. they did leave their mark, definitely, to the ultimated occup -- ultimate occupation, which lasted many years. they brought many people over here.
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they did influence the place. they love the relatively large population, which has been here -- left a relatively large population, which has been here since then. the impact or entrance of the british -- influence o fthe 0-- of the british is more in administration, not in other aspects of life. >> again, this small, island country is strategically very important to africa, the middle east, and europe. >> i hope that we will be able to resolve the problem and reunite the island. in fact, now that we are a full
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member of the european union, we have clearly stated policy of operating as a bridge between the european union and the asuntryies in the area, even a benevolent or creative interface between the countries of the region, to the extent that we accept this role. >> minister, does it put pressure in a positive way on cyprus, north and south, that, in the second half of 2012, the presidency of the eu will be based right here in cyprus? does it help? >> correct. it does, i believe.
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we would be very happy if the cyprus situation was resolved before then. >> possibility? but it is not unlikely -- >> it is not unlikely. different civilizations and different cultures can move together into a small, but modest state, where the problems of the past can be set aside. -- aside for the benfit of the new and coming generations. -- benefit of the new and coming generations. "this is america" is made possible by the national
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education association, the nation's largest advocate for children and public education. the american federation of teachers, a union of professionals. the singapore tourism board. there is sryve e everyone. singapore airlines, a great way to fly. poongsan corporation, forging a higher global standard. and the rotondaro family trust, the ctc foundation, afo communications, and the american life tv network. captioned by the national captioning institute
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This Is America With Dennis Wholey
WETA July 24, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EDT

News/Business. (2011) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Cyprus 28, Turkey 6, America 3, Singapore 3, Unesco 2, The Nation 2, Europe 2, Us 2, National Education Association 2, The Singapore Tourism Board 1, Fthe 1, United Nations Security Council 1, Nicosia 1, Palavric 1, Ctc 1, Eu 1, Venetians 1, Ules 1, Egypt 1, St. Barnabas 1
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Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
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